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Reasons to carry a troubled pregnancy to term.

From time to time it comes up. This week I've been getting e-mails that go something like this:

My friends are expecting in August. They just found out it is a girl, which they were hoping for. They also found out the baby has severe deformities. They have been advised the baby will not survive and if it was born it would not live for very long. My friend says she doesn't want to carry a baby to term just to have it die. They also think this would be hard on the other children. They have been advised to get a D&C

Because this does happen once in a while, I wanted to put up a handy reference post that can be linked to for future reference.

I have never had this type of situation personally. I have however, had a stillborn son that I never had a chance to meet. What I wouldn't give to have had a few moments with that baby, to hold him and say hello and goodbye. I think when couples get a diagnosis like the one above, they are dealing with such shock and pain that there is a real temptation to just get it over with and to try to lessen the pain. But you can't avoid grief and pain, and abortion merely trades one type of sorrow for another. It doesn't ease or eliminate grief.

I'm not saying carrying a baby with a bad diagnosis and then watching it die would be easy. But what that scenario gives over abortion is the chance to actually spend some time with the baby, to comfort the child as it passes, to let him/her know that she was loved, and to have some time as a family, no matter how briefly and to get some pictures. Be Not Afraid.Net  is a wonderful resource that has many stories of parents who have faced this difficult decision and have gone on to bravely and lovingly have their babies to make the best of the time they have together.

If the pregnancy goes to term, or as far as it can, the couple will have more time to think and bond with their baby in utero. They'll be able to make plans for the baby's birth and how they want to honor that little life in death. They can pick and choose the things that will be memorable and memorable for them and for their other children.

And what a wonderful example this will give to the baby's siblings! It says that no matter how small, or how sick, or how short the life, it all has purpose and meaning. It tells those children that no matter, what the parents loved that baby and they love them so much too!

It will be a sad time, but it will also be a prayerful time and a time open to its own blessings if the parents are open to receiving them. I can't tell you the unexpected blessings that came around and after my pregnancy loss. I met so many people and had so many experiences that I would not have had otherwise. In many ways going through that has made me a better person.

I'd also like to mention that diagnoses are sometimes wrong. The worst case doesn't always happen. Doctors are not God. But I think sometimes doctors feel that they are being compassionate when they offer abortion as a way to end a pregnancy and let the couple move on with their life.  Grief doesn't work that way, and while it looks like an easy solution, it's really not and can make what seems like a terrible situation worse.

I think sometime parents think that abortion is the most compassionate choice for their baby.  I remember reading one blog where the couple received a poor diagnosis for their unknown son and they decided that God would want them to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and with that twisted logic, they ended their child's life. No where in scripture does that refer to mercy killing!

But I think instead there is ample scripture to support that a mother loves and guides her child. Can there be anything sadder than a mother who gives up on her weak and sickly child? Mothers protect and defend their children and Fathers support and lead their wives in this.  And all things are possible through God.

I have collected many links on this topic and you can view them in my Diigo Links here.
No I Lay Me Down to Sleep offers professional free photography services for babies who have passed or are expected to pass.  Their work is extraordinarily beautiful.

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